Posted by Book Mavens on 12th May 2013
Title: Beautiful Ruins: A Novel
Author: Jess Walter
Publisher: Harper, 2012
Review/Summary: A tour de force that crosses decades, continents, and genres. This was one of my favorites from last year. Big dreams, lost loves, a quirky and entertaining tale that skewers the Hollywood scene with many memorable characters. This roller coaster of a novel spans 50 years, opening with a mysterious woman in a boat heading towards an inn on the coast of Italy. The young innkeeper befriends the dying young starlet. The story fast forwards to modern times, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio back lot-searching for the woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier. As the plot twists, even a rakish Richard Burton enters the tale! This would make a great beach read-lyrical, heartbreaking, and funny.
Who will like this book?: Those who are looking for an interesting read that will grip them from the very beginning. Those who want to read about going into the unknown to see what life could be like!
If you like this, try this: If you’re interested in characters who leave on quests to see what may have been, try “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple or “Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce.
If you enjoyed Jess Walter, she has a number of other books including her newest “We Live in Water” or her previous novels, “The Financial Lives of Poets” or “Citizen Vince”.
Recommended by: Cindy B. Children’s Librarian
Are you interested in reading this one? Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available or to place a hold!
Tags: 2012 Releases, Adventure, Friendship, Italy, Relationships, Travel
Posted in Fiction, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 27th January 2011
Title: The Woman Who Fell from the Sky: An American Journalist in Yemen
Author: Steil, Jennifer.
Publisher: Broadway May, 2010
Summary: Journalist Jennfier Steil, at the age of 37, unattached and unsatisfied with her work in New York, flew off to Yemen to teach journalism at the Yemen Observer, an English language newspaper in Sanaa. The three week position transitioned into a one year stay as she assumed the position of editor, but not the title as it is illegal for foreigners to run a Yemeni newspaper.
Steil finds herself teaching the importance of accuracy and objectivity in reporting, almost unknown to most of the men who are often busy chewing khat, a legal substance in Yemen, and to the few young women hidden beneath burkas. Although the staff is receptive to her teaching, there is a clash of cultures as she tries to instill in the men the importance of turning in assignments on time, and must make exceptions for the women who need to be home before dark. She eventually forms very close friendships with some of the female employees, and even chews khat with the men and their families.
Needless to say, this is one very adventuresome woman! Accustomed to hanging out at bars and flirting with strangers in New York, she needs to adjust to life in a poor Islamic society. And adjust she does – learning enough Arabic to get around the beautiful city of Sanaa on her own, sleeping on the floor at times, tasting new foods, avoiding the gaze of men on the narrow city streets, and risking danger travelling in the countryside. This is a book for those who love reading about other cultures.
Recommended by : Paula, Reference Librarian
Click here to visit our catalog to find more information and put the book on hold!
Tags: Journalism, Middle East, Travel
Posted in Biography & Memoir, Non-Fiction | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 16th December 2010
Title: Bill Warrington’s Last Chance
Author: James King
Publisher: Viking, August 2010
Summary: This well written and entertaining debut novel is from a local writer (Wilton). Bill, an elderly curmudgeon is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and wants to force a reunion of his fractured family. April is his headstrong, rebellious teenage granddaughter and together they set off on a cross country trip. The bond between them grows as April becomes his caretaker as Bill slips further into mental fogginess. Their family rises above their dysfunction and band together to find them. Funny, warm and touching with flawed, but likeable characters.
If you like this, try this: I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman and How to be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway
Recommended by: Cindy B., Children’s Department
Tags: 2010 Releases, Adventure, Coming of Age, Family, Travel
Posted in Fiction, Popular | 1 Comment »
Posted by Merry Mao on 7th April 2009
Title: The Leisure Seeker
Publisher: William Morrow, January 2009
Summary: The Leisure Seeker isthe second book by Mr. Zadoorian. He wrote Second Hand,which was an ABA Booksense 76 selection, a Barnes & Noble Award Finalist, and the winner of the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award.
This book is a charming little read about an elderly couple who flee across country against the wishes of doctors and family members. It starts off a little roughly but soon the reader is engaged in the adventure of a couple married sixty years who are determined to visit Disneyland one last time. There are no real surprises along the way save for some nice words of sentimental wisdom. Nevertheless I did find myself rather moved. The end of the story has a twist but not altogether unexpected.
Recommended by: Karen, Deputy Town Librarian
Tags: 2009 Releases, Alzheimer's, Cancer, Dementia, Elderly, Marriage, Travel
Posted in Popular | 1 Comment »